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Emergency Preparedness: Are You and Your Family Prepared for Disaster?

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Announcer:

Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper?

The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats, and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change, or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times.

Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman:

Good day and welcome to Show No. 2 for the Holistic Survival Show. Today we’re going to talk about emergency preparedness. Are you and your family prepared for disaster? This is your host, Jason Hartman.

Emergency planning and survival equipment can reduce fear and reduce losses when disaster strikes. Where will you and your family be when disaster strikes? Will you be at home, school, office, or on the road? Regardless of your location, you need an emergency preparedness kit in each one of these places.

Today, we’ll interview expert, founder, and president of Emergency Preparedness Systems, LLC, Greg Friese, and I think you’ll really enjoy this show. It will give you some good tips and it never hurts to follow the Boy Scout motto and always be prepared. Let’s listen and be sure to join us for future shows of Holistic Survival and visit www.Holistic Survival.com.

One more thing I want to mention before we go to the interview with Greg. Greg has been kind enough to obtain two emergency preparedness kits that he is giving away to our listeners. All you have to do is go to www.HolisticSurvival.com, click on Contact Us, and just fill out the little, quick Contact Us form, and put “Contest” in the Remarks Section, and we will go ahead and draw names here in the next few weeks. We have two of these kits donated by Greg and we will go ahead and give those away and contact the winning listeners.

So let’s listen in to the interview, and let’s make sure you are prepared when disaster strikes because it will eventually. So be prepared. Here’s the interview.

Interview with Greg Friese, Emergency Preparedness Systems, LLC

Jason Hartman:

It’s my pleasure to welcome Greg Friese to the show. Greg is an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates, and he does training for first responders and has a lot of great advice to share with us today about preparedness and the medical side of that. Greg, it’s great to have you on.

Greg Friese:

Thanks for having me, Jason. I really appreciate it. Like you said, I am an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates. I also work as a paramedic occasionally, so I’m out and about seeing the public when they call 9-1-1, and I also create a lot of online education programs.

Jason Hartman:

You’re saving lives and doing good things. That’s great to hear. Tell us about your online educational programs.

Greg Friese:

Well, the online education program, EMTs and paramedics need to do a certain amount of continuing education each year to maintain their certification and licensure, so they can go online and watch a narrated flash movie, and then answer a set of quiz questions and get a continuing education certificate for a wide variety of topics.

Jason Hartman:

Excellent. You were generous enough to donate for our listeners two medical kits and we are going to be doing a drawing for those. If everybody would go to www.HolisticSurvival.com and just sign up at our Members Only section, there’s no charge for that, of course, and a lot of great content in there. And then we will do a drawing for the Adventure Medical Kits. Do you want to tell us about that kit, Greg?

Greg Friese:

Yeah, I sure do. Adventure Medical Kits is a company that I’ve worked with. They create really outstanding first aid kits, pre-supplied first aid kits, for outdoor enthusiasts. And so what I have in my car, as well as take to the hunting camp in the fall and on different trips I go on – and I told them I was going to be speaking to your listeners about first aid and preparedness, and I said I certainly would like to share a kit or two with the listeners of the show. So I think if people, after they listen, could use, like you said, your website to submit a comment or a question or say, “Hey, we’re out here,” and then we’ll do a drawing and we’ll be able to ship. I think two first aid kits are going to come from Adventure Medical Kits, and if listeners want to see their website, it’s just www.AdventureMedicalKits.com.

Jason Hartman:

Excellent; thank you for that. What first aid emergencies, Greg, should all citizens be prepared to treat in zero to six minutes?

Greg Friese:

I think that’s a great question. In zero to six minutes, to serve that time, especially if you’re in an urban area, normal conditions that it might take for an ambulance or medical first responders to arrive at your house or your business. So the first step is just being able to recognize what are some life threatening emergencies and activating 9-1-1 to get that ambulance on its way. And it’s things like somebody choking maybe on a piece of food, or a child on a small object, or it could be somebody that’s having breathing difficulties from a problem like asthma. Or somebody that’s having a heart attack or stroke. Those are two big life threatening emergencies that people should be able to recognize signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which are things like pressure in the chest radiating up into the jaw or down the left arm, with breathing difficulty and anxiety, and recognize that as a life threatening emergency.

Or something like a stroke, tragically, more than 50 percent of stroke patients aren’t brought to a hospital by an ambulance, and that delay in care has a big negative impact on stroke patients. Being able to recognize stroke signs and symptoms, like one-sided weakness, inability to speak, and sort of that paralysis, one-sided paralysis; maybe other things like –

Jason Hartman:

When you say one side, by the way, can you just define that? One side of the body, right?

Greg Friese:

Right, one side of the body. You might see things like facial droop, where you ask the patient if they can smile and they can’t make a full smile, or they have strength in one arm, but not the other. Some of those emergencies with the airway and with breathing and how the brain works and how the heart works, recognizing those as life threats and some treatments that citizens could apply, by doing things like Heimlich or use an AED or deliver chest compressions. Or simply call 9-1-1 and get that, as the American Heart Association says, the chain of survival activated.

Jason Hartman:

One of the things we’re seeing a lot more nowadays, which is a good sign, in many public buildings, health clubs, airlines, so forth, is the electrical kits. I believe Phillips makes those. They’re about $1,500.

Greg Friese:

Yeah, there are a lot of different types of that automated external defibrillator and those, often times, come packaged with some other things to assist with giving rescue breaths. But if you’re in a public building or airport or a school and you witness somebody collapse suddenly and become unresponsive, calling 9-1-1, calling for an AED, or looking for, if it’s available, and then opening up the package, and then, often times, those things have voice prompts and they explain to the user what to do. You bare the patient’s chest, you apply the sticky electrode pads, and the machine will tell you if it should give a shock or not. It’s just really important and really helpful for people – don’t assume that somebody else is going to deal with the emergency, but have an action orientation. Boy, it’s not right that somebody in line in the grocery store is suddenly collapsed and we should call 9-1-1 and we should look for an AED.

Jason Hartman:

How can the average person distinguish an illness or an injury that is an emergency that would benefit from ambulance response, transport, or knowing if they can treat it on-site? Do you want to address that a little bit?

Greg Friese:

That’s something that comes up a lot in the Wilderness Medicine Course is that we might be on a hiking trip or we might be far from help, or we might be out at sea. When would it be warranted to call for help? But the same principles apply in your home or your business and a sudden loss of consciousness – so if somebody was awake, and now they’re on the floor, and you can’t arouse them, wake them back up – that would be an emergency. Or somebody that’s not able to breathe. You look across the table and they’re choking on a piece of food, that’s an emergency. Something that is sudden onset, like the signs of a stroke I talked about or the chest pain associated with the heart attack; profuse bleeding that you can’t stop with applying some well-aimed direct pressure.

I think through life experiences, a lot of us have taken tumbles and falls or not felt well after a meal. So kind of be evaluating does this seem out of the ordinary. Or I was just talking to Jason and he seemed fine, and now, he’s all confused and disoriented and I don’t understand what he’s saying. A sudden change in the way somebody’s brain is working would be another indicator that it’s an emergency.

Or the other thing: my niece fell off of a bed a couple weeks ago, and my sister reported that she heard the fall, she heard the bone break, and then she heard the crying, and then she looked up and say my niece’s deformed arm. That sort of deformity was an obvious sign that that was an emergency. She had no way to transport an injured 3-year-old by herself and calling 9-1-1 was the right thing to do.

Jason Hartman:

So what is the difference between sort of these every day occurrences, where someone is in a restaurant or you’re just doing whatever, and you see these signs that you mentioned, versus the issue of a big natural disaster, or in even a more major case, a terrorist event?

Greg Friese:

I wanted to address that just because of the nature of your show and the messages that you’re communicating is that you might be in a situation during a natural disaster, where you’d have what we call prolonged patient care because access to EMS might be delayed because of, say an ice storm, there might be lots of trees and power lines down, and your house that used to be just minutes from the nearest fire station now might take hours to access. Or the floods that they had in the Northwest a few months ago, where both communities were blocked off from outside resources, so then you’re in a situation as a lay-rescuer, that you might have prolonged patient care, where you might be responsible for somebody for 30 minutes or a couple hours.

You have to be thinking about what this problem they’re having, how could this worsen over time, what can I do to be minimizing it or treating some of the symptoms? Take my niece’s broken arm for example, that certainly getting to the hospital soon was a good thing to do, but because of a natural disaster, somebody has something like a broken arm, you might be a pretty low-priority patient compared to other types of patients going in the system. So as a parent, you might be responsible for doing some simple splinting or offering just reassurance and over-the-counter pain treatment and pain medication, or applying ice, and just trying to comfort that patient until they can get into the healthcare system.

Keeping wounds clean, we all remember the images from New Orleans a few years ago and the flooding with Hurricane Katrina, and certainly, lots of patients probably had lacerations to their feet and hands and legs, and trying to keep those wounds clean and prevent infection during that prolonged, out-of-hospital patient care was a big issue.

Jason Hartman:

I don’t think the show really has the time or the ability without visuals to go into the specifics of what one does, but what kind of courses should they be taking? What kind of books should people be reading for the actual specifics about this stuff, beyond the basic advice that we can sort of do on the show here?

Greg Friese:

That’s a really good question. I think, first, everyone can look in their own community to organizations like the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, and start by taking a CPR course. Some of your listeners have probably had CPR training in the past, in the workplace, and thought, oh my gosh, all that watching and practice – well, CPR training has really evolved and there’s rapid training methods now, whereas in as little as 30 minutes, people can receive instruction in basic CPR, using an AED, clearing a choking patient’s airway with the Heimlich maneuver or abdominal thrust.

And so working with the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association would be two great places to start right in your community. If somebody is looking for additional training or sees themselves in situations where they’ll be in the outdoors, or they want to make sure that if they had to take care of their family during a disaster for overnight or a couple of days, going through a wilderness first aid course from a company like Wilderness Medical Associates would be a great way to start. It’s a 16-hour training program, usually over a Saturday and Sunday. Day One is usually focused on how do you assess injured and ill patients and understanding – I like to say – the emergencies that don’t happen very often, but when they do, the patient could die.

And then Day Two is more of the stuff that we would be likely to see, like muscular skeletal injuries, wounds, and burns, being too hot, being too cold, having allergic reactions, and the stuff I call, “My head hurts” or “My belly aches,” and trying to distinguish when are those things an emergency or when can I provide supportive care until I can get to more resources.

Jason Hartman:

You know, Greg, one of the great things that this awareness has brought to people is that many more people nowadays have some type of disaster preparedness kit. One of the important things is that they have that kit with them. And the first thing most people do is they have the kit at home, if they have one at all, and hopefully, they do. But they don’t have it in their car, in their boat, in their RV, their second home possibly, different places. What are the different levels of that? Can a woman even have that in their purse; a guy has it in his briefcase? Are there some small to large kits in different locations? Give us some insight on that.

Greg Friese:

I think that an interesting thing to consider, is having – we used to call them a 72-hour preparedness kit, and now a more generic disaster preparedness kit because the length of time that you might need to rely on that is unknown. I think, like I said at the outset of the show, certainly we have supplies here in the house. In my car, I would keep just a couple basic things, like a couple bottles of water, a pair of examination gloves that if you encountered someone on the roadway that was bleeding, is a barrier from blood-borne pathogens. And then a simple CPR mask. That’s where I start in my car.

And then I carry a simple first aid kit, one of those Adventure Medical Kits that I can easily take with me on outings, can go in my backpack on trips, or I can take it out to the cabin. I’ve done it different ways where I’ve tried to assemble sort of my own kit from the junk drawer in the house and odds and ends in the linen closet and around the bathroom sink, but I’ve sort of settled on what works best for me, and the time I have available to put into something like that, it’s just trying to get a pre-made kit.

But the Red Cross would be another great source of information. And there’s also a website called www.Ready.gov, and the whole point of that is individual and family preparedness. People can go online there and find suggested kit contents.

Jason Hartman:

So your overall thought, though, is it’s just a lot easier to buy an established kit, where somebody has already thought it out, than assembling it oneself?

Greg Friese:

For me, that’s worked best. Just like a lot of your listeners, limited time between work and my business and my paramedic work and my teaching, and then my family. For me, it’s worked better to just shop for something that has the components I need and make the purchase. But a lot of people choose to assemble their own kits. As long as you’re thinking about the essentials, shelter, water, food, and medications, and then communication with the outside world, that’s a good way to start. And there are certainly a lot of resources available, again from the Red Cross or www.Ready.gov, to put your own kit together if you didn’t want to purchase one.

Jason Hartman:

Greg, one of the things that distinguishes this show from others out there and other experts out there is the difference between a realistic, sort of contemporary survival type philosophy, versus sort of what I’ll call the older survival philosophy, which is the bunker mentality, the wilderness mentality, that type of thing. Most people that will be possibly most seriously affected by civil unrest, natural disaster will be in an urban environment, and all of the services and the interdependence that occurs among people in a highly developed society, like the one we live in, they go away. Or they become so impacted with so many victims and so many people needing treatment and care.

Can you make any distinctions between the wilderness survival sort of philosophy versus the urban, contemporary, modern philosophy? And I don’t know that I’ve defined that right or the way you would think of it, but I think a lot of people don’t take this very seriously, and that’s one of the goals of my show is to get them to take it seriously. And most of them live in cities. They have traditional, middle class lives. They’re not out in the wilderness. They’re not radical. They’re not survivalists, per se.

Greg Friese:

I think it’s helpful to take in sort of incremental steps in terms of individual and family preparedness. So for example, you’re about to become a parent for the first time. Well, you don’t need to become a pediatrician, but you should know how to do infant CPR and that only takes a couple hours.

Or I have two young children and when we first became parents, that was the first time my wife and I thought, well, what if there was a fire in our house? What steps would we take to both get ourselves out, plus our child out of the house? And we’ve sort of been able to build step-wise and now we have a plan of, if the house burned down, we’d go to the neighbor’s house. But we live in an area with tornadoes. Well, what if we couldn’t meet back at our house because of a tornado, and we sort of thought, well, we have a location nearby in our neighborhood where we’d try to meet, and then a location in our community where we would try to meet. And then a location within our region, that if we were separated.

So I think thinking about planning and preparedness in sort of a series of steps and not an all or nothing, and also forming relationships, I think, and knowing what resources are in your area. And also, having a clear idea of what emergency government or emergency response organizations expect of you as a citizen during a disaster would be really powerful knowledge to have. I think if you’re uninjured, emergency government and emergency response organizations expect that you should be able to do some basics to provide for your own shelter, water, and food, and medications for at least a day or two.

Starting simple and trying to build toward that expectation I think would be a good strategy for your listeners.

Jason Hartman:

I think you’re right, and just make it a habit. Make it part of your life and just sort of in the back of your mind, you build up slowly. Katrina was a great example, unfortunately, of just complete lack of responsibility, complete lack of preparedness, and way too much interdependence and not enough independence. If something happened right now, how much water do you have in your house? How much food do you have in your house? Go to your fuse box and turn off the main power switch. What can you do without power, without heat, and without all of these things that we just come to expect on a daily basis?

Greg Friese:

I think it would be an overwhelming thought to think that most of us could quickly evacuate our homes, all of our prized possessions, our families, and drive to another state potentially. That’s sort of like big disaster and being ready for that is an overwhelming preparedness thought. That’s why I would really advocate a set of incremental steps. Maybe you do one thing each month. You start with CPR this month and next month, you put some simple supplies together. The month after that, you practice evacuation of your house in case there was a fire with your family or something like that. Take it as a series of steps rather than a “we’ve gotta be ready for this huge event to leave our state.” Do you know what I mean?

Jason Hartman:

And I think that most of these events will not include traveling. They’ll be staying at your home base and having some level of resources right there. Sometimes travel may be appropriate, but again, that introduces a whole new set of challenges and issues, right? But when we’re talking about sort of the big disaster preparedness, and I don’t know if this is something you address at all, but I want to ask you anyway. What about the terrorism threat, and maybe it’s not even terrorism, but there’s a chemical plant near your home? What about chemicals, radiation, biological, those types of things? Do you address any of that stuff?

Greg Friese:

I think it’s helpful for people to sort of consider what we call an “all hazards approach,” that your preparedness planning and equipping and training should be focused on any type of hazard, whether it be a weapon of mass destruction, a natural disaster, or a pandemic illness. There are a lot of general principles that could apply to any type of event and self-sufficiency at the individual and family level is important for all of those types of disasters.

Knowing ahead of time of maybe how to access information and sort of that just in time – or we’d call it the training and awareness – so you can make good decisions about where your family should be during an event or after it’s occurred. I don’t live too far from a community, Weyauwega, Wisconsin. Boy, it’s probably been more than ten years, but they had a train derailment in Weyauwega, a hazardous chemicals release and fire, and people in that community I want to say were evacuated for six weeks. It was a sudden thing and it wasn’t terrorism, it wasn’t natural disaster; it was just a train that went off the tracks in their town.

There’s sort of the immediate “what do you do” and then there’s a whole sort of a set of government/non-government organizations that will rise up to assist people, and then you start working with your extended network of friends and family.

But to get back to your question, an “all hazards preparedness” approach is the best way for individuals and families to prepare and not to delve into too much of certain specific types of hazards. I guess the caveat might be is if you live in a high-risk area for a certain thing, like if you live in California, you should be ready for wild fires and earthquakes.

Jason Hartman:

Good point. And if you live in the Gulf Coast, then –

Greg Friese:

In Central Wisconsin, there’s a much different risk here, but you have to be thinking about tornadoes and severe weather, especially in the winter time with prolonged cold and snow about.

Jason Hartman:

Yeah, good point, and if you live in a big city, like New York, I think the concern there is a different set of concerns, more a terrorism target; more a highly compacted people, more civil unrest potential. So yeah, a different set of circumstances depending on where you live.

Good! Well, this has been really interesting, Greg. Anything you’d like to say just to kind of wrap it up?

Greg Friese:

Well, I generally encourage your listeners again to look for some basic first aid and CPR training through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. If they wanted to do some more advanced first aid training that would really prepare them for prolonged patient care situation, look into an organization like Wilderness Medical Associates. And can I give their website?

Jason Hartman:

Absolutely.

Greg Friese:

It’s www.WildMed.com. And then, finally, if your listeners are interested in contacting me, learning about the work we do for emergency responders and creating online education programs for that audience, they’re welcome to contact me through my website, www.eps411.com.

Jason Hartman:

Good stuff. Well, Greg Friese, thank you so much for joining us on the show, and again, we appreciate you getting those two medical kits for the giveaway drawing as well. Thank you again.

Greg Friese:

You’re welcome. I’m glad to be here and I appreciate the opportunity.

Announcer:

Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search Jason Hartman on iTunes.

This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

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Duration: 29 minutes

 

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